The war of attrition between Senator Rochas Okorocha, representing Imo West senatorial district at the National Assembly and Governor Hope Uzodinma appears to have taken a new dimension. The duo who are stalwarts of the All Progressive Congress, APC have never refrained from attacking each other at every given opportunity.
The government of Imo state, yesterday, through its Commissioner for Commerce and Industry,Mr Simon Ebegbulem stormed a business outfit, allegedly owned by Rochas Okorocha’s daughter, Uloma, wife of Uche Nwosu, who was Action Alliance governorship candidate in the 2019 general election. The team, accompanied by men of the Nigerian police and other security agents claimed that they recovered over containers of various accessories carefully concealed in a 200 by 55 feet warehouse said to belong to Okorocha.
Other items allegedly discovered are, streetlight accessories, solar panels with inverters, artificial palm trees used in decorating the roads and traffic light equipment, machines belonging to the defunct state owned industry, Nsu tiles located at Ehime Mbano were not spared. A mixer and mould machine were also among the properties removed from the moribund industry.
Speaking with newsmen, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry said some of the important machines have already been installed at the back of the massive warehouse alleged to have been constructed for Okorocha’s new ceramic industry.
In his reaction to the invasion of the said warehouse, Okorocha through his media aide, Sam Onwuemeodo accused Uzodinma of venting his frustration arising from the outcome of the mass celebrated in honour of late Bishop Ochiagha at Orlu.
The release narrated that while at the Orlu Catholic Diocese for the funeral mass of late Ochiagha, governor Uzodinma was first given opportunity to address the audience. When he stood up to speak, people remained indifferent as long as the period he held the Microphone but when Okorocha stood up to address the same audience, it was heralded by a thunderous ovation which embarrassed the governor.
Okorocha advised the governor to consult him for a way out, if he is finding it difficult to break even.The release came close to describing the Uzodinma administration as clueless going by the fact that it has abandoned core business of governance to continuously attack his predecessor.
Okorocha’s release reads in part:”This is to inform the general public, that, as early as 6:15am today, Thursday, January 21, 2021, seven Hilux vans loaded with heavily armed police men, invaded a warehouse along Aba road, opposite Alaba international market, on the orders of the governor of the State, Chief Hope Uzodinma.
We have also read what the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Simeon Ibegbulem said were recovered from the Warehouse. It was interesting to read that what the Commissioner said they recovered from the warehouse were street lights accessories and cartons of tiles without disclosing how he arrived at the conclusion that those items were owned by the government.
The government should disclose or publish the proof of ownership of all they claimed they had recovered. All these cock and bull stories have become irritating. If Governor Uzodinma is not demolishing Okorocha’s projects, he is invading warehouses in his government’s desperation to malign Okorocha.
And the question is, how would all these help governor Uzodinma in the governance of the state. We have been reluctant to use the word clueless, but the government’s actions and inactions have given reasons to be described as such.
And if Okorocha wanted to hide any item, could he have done so at a Warehouse along the busy Aba road and opposite one of the biggest markets in Owerri, the Alaba International Market? And if after 8 years of being governor, what the government could claim to have been looted by Okorocha were street light gadgets and cartons of tiles then, those who invaded the warehouse should cover their faces in shame.
It would also be recalled that the Hon. Jasper Ndubuaku-led Recovery Committee had long before now, invaded the same Warehouse also on the claim that it was recovering government’s properties, which ended as hoax.
We want to also call on the Police Command to investigate those in police uniforms, who invaded the warehouse, to find out whether they are really men of the Nigeria Police, since it was not expected that police men would have gone for the invasion of the warehouse, without a valid Court Order.
We have also discovered that since the incident that happened at the funeral mass of late Bishop Gregory Ochiagha, at the Holy Trinity Catholic Cathedral, Orlu, the governor has intensified his onslaught against Okorocha. At the mass, Imo people failed or refused to behave as if someone was talking, when the governor addressed the congregation. But when the priest celebrating the mass, introduced Okorocha, there was thunderous ovation that lasted for minutes. This could be the reason behind the renewed anger of the governor against Okorocha.
Administration is not an easy business. If the governor is finding it extremely difficult to break even or break through, he should consult his brother, Okorocha, to tell him how he did it and to a large extent, succeeded, inspite of the meager resources of the state. The best approach is not destroying Okorocha’s legacy projects or chasing shadows, but to ask questions.
The governor should have known by now, that, demolishing Okorocha’s signature projects could have been one of the reasons for the anger of Imo people against him and against his government. So, his embarking on recovery of non-existent or imaginary properties only showed that the sound of bitter kola in the mouth, does not reflect the taste.
It is our prayer that the governor should begin to govern the state and stop shadow chasing. It does not add up.”